Frequently Asked Questions 

 
 
1 - AK Drums:
 

is a one-man operation.

 
I manufacture all of the following components in-house:
- drum shells
- hoops
- throw-offs & butt plates
- lugs
- snare wires
- custom hand engraving
- natural drum heads (calf & goat) in all possible sizes (tucked on brass flesh hoops)
 
 
2 – plating options:
 
- 24K Gold (matt or polished)
- Nickel (matt or polished)
- Chrome
- Copper
- Vintage ArtGold / Nobby Gold    
 
 
3 - AK Brushed Patina finish:  
 
My copper and brass drums just have a raw finish (artificial patina / hand brushed) that's oiled as a last step.
The oil finishing procedure just slows down the patina process, but it doesn’t prevent it!  
 
Appearing fingerprints for example are the typical tarnish/patina where the shell has been touched with bare hands at one point.
 
Natural patina always develops depending on how the instrument is treated (touching with perspiring hands, drops of spilled drinks,…) as well as on the environmental conditions (air moisture, salty sea air, acidic liquids, etc... ).  
 
I don’t clear coat the shells, because I like the natural feeling and patina development. 
And EVEN IF clear coated, patina spots will develop with time under the coating in those spots where the lacquer wears off or where it gets scratches from handling/playing).
While first fingerprints may appear shocking at first to some… the shells will generally darken over the years, showing a nice patina (and with it, the drums’ real life and live experience!)  
 
Clear coated shells look way too shiny and “industrial” IMO and every single scratch in a clear lacquered shell would cause a similar issue.  
 
I found the oil sealing procedure my best way to go.    
 
 
4 - AK Drums cleaning:  
 
Shells: I’d strongly suggest NOT to clean these drums’ shells (brushed patina finished), as this could really damage the surface of the shell and the natural finish in general.  
Hardware: wiping off the fingerprints or dust signs with a soft cotton cloth should do it to preserve a shiny finish!      
 
 
5 – periodical lubrication of moving parts (throw-offs) and tension rods:  
 
DO it!!  
 
Most issues with old strainers and threaded parts that came through my hands when restoring vintage drums came from insufficient maintenance over all the years the instruments were in use.